Goodbye, Christopher Robin
The Greatest Showman
Last Flag Flying
Murder on the Orient Express
The skinny: We always start with 10, because nobody knows anything at this point. The only thing we know – and that’s purely based on statistics – is that we’re likely to have only 8 or 9 nominees. The only film that could even be called “vulnerable” at this point is Detroit, because of the controversy around it. But this is the Academy, and even with a lot of new members who aren’t old white guys, I don’t buy (yet) that the controversy alone is enough to exclude Detroit from major consideration.
Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit
Alexander Payne, Downsizing
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Steven Spielberg, The Papers
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
The skinny: All former nominees and winners, except Christopher Nolan, who’s been due for some time.
Chadwick Boseman, Marshall
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman Israel, Esq.
The skinny: Everyone’s playing a real person (or someone inspired by a real person) except for Denzel, who may be back to avenge his loss from last year.
Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Nicole Kidman, The Beguiled
Rooney Mara, Mary Magdalene
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep, The Papers
The skinny: I really love all these women. Only Kidman’s movie’s been released, and she’s having a hell of a year, but if Three Billboards lives up to the hype, McDormand might nab a second Oscar.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Colin Farrell, The Beguiled
Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
Woody Harrelson, The Glass Castle
Joaquin Phoenix, Mary Magdalene
Mark Rylance, Dunkirk
The skinny: Buzz is pretty muted for The Glass Castle, but Harrelson is really respected, and this role (as an unorthodox father) is the kind of role that wins awards.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck
Michelle Pfeiffer, mother!
Margot Robbie, Goodbye, Christopher Robin
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
The skinny: If Holly Hunter ends up being The Big Sick’s only nomination, I’ll be happy with that. She’s phenomenal in my favorite movie of the year so far. The rest of these women are just educated guesses.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Big Sick
The skinny: The toughest category of them all this year. There are at least a dozen other movies, with either great reviews (Get Out and Wind River among them) or buzz (like Wonder Wheel and Suburbicon) that might end up here.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Call Me by Your Name
Last Flag Flying
The skinny: Will Aaron Sorkin finally get back into this category after inexplicably being shut out for his incredible work on Steve Jobs? I sure hope so. Molly’s Game is my most anticipated movie of the fall.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Despicable Me 3
The LEGO Batman Movie
The LEGO Ninjago Movie
The skinny: A really tough category to crack. Will there be two LEGO movies up for this award when the first LEGO Movie got shafted in one of the Academy’s worst decisions ever? Maybe, because there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of serious competition.
Random Sure Things
Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes
Film Editing: Dunkirk
Costume Design: The Beguiled
Production Design: Beauty and the Beast
Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049